Writing: The Hero’s Journey Outline

The 12 Stages of the Hero’s Journey

The hero’s journey is a popular storytelling structure that details a character arc over a three act story.


hero's journey



Act 1:  Ordinary World

1.  Ordinary World

The hero is at home.  Everything is normal.  Some background information is revealed.

2.  Call to Adventure

A problem or challenge arises.  Something disrupt everyday life.

3.  Refusal of the Call

The hero is reluctant, is afraid, has self doubt, or just doesn’t want to give up a comfortable life.

4.  Meeting with the Mentor

The hero meets an experienced traveller who gives him training, equipment, or advice.  By learning these new skills or abilities the hero gains self confidence.

5.  Crossing the First Threshold

The hero begins the adventure and fully commits to the journey.  He passes the point of no return and enters a new and unfamiliar world.


Act 2:  World of the Supernatural

6.  Test, Allies, Enemies

Challenges and obstacles are more difficult in this new world.  The hero’s skills and knowledge are put to the test.  The hero meet friends and faces enemies, gaining experience along the way.

7.  Approach

The hero prepares for the final battle.

8.  Ordeal

Boss fight.

9.  Reward

Victory, treasure, and glory.


Act 3:  Ordinary World

10.  The Road Back

The hero leaves the supernatural world and begins his journey home.

11.  Resurrection

The hero returns to the mundane world, but he is different.   The journey has changed him.  He is not the same person as he was before.  He has gained experience, knowledge, and skill.  He has also acquired treasures and artifacts from his adventure.

12.  Return with Elixir

The hero returns to his friends and family that he left behind.  He brings back the knowledge and tools that he gained while on his adventures.  He uses his new skills to improve his life and the lives of those around him in the ordinary world.



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